On this day in 1914, The Curragh Mutiny took place…

Sir Arthur Paget, GOC Irish Command in March 1914

Sir Arthur Paget, GOC Irish Command in March 1914

On Friday 20 March 1914, around 60 Army officers offered to resign their commissions rather than obey orders. They were based at The Curragh, the chief barracks in Ireland; what happened become know as ‘The Curragh Incident’ or ‘The Curragh Mutiny’.

The (third) Home Rule Bill for Ireland was passed in 1912, anticipating an autonomous parliament in Dublin. The original Dublin based parliament, previously subordinate to London, had achieved a larger degree of autonomy in the 1780s; It was abolished by the Act of Union 1801—as in Scotland a century earlier, a combination of threats and bribes by the English brought it down.

The concept of an Irish parliament in Dublin was opposed by (many) Protestants. There was a vehement reaction to the idea, chiefly but not exclusively in the north of the island. They signed the The Solemn League and Covenant in Belfast’s City Hall, some with their own blood, in 1912; the first signatory was Sir Edward Carson. The Ulster Volunteer Force was founded as an armed militia, with the express purpose of fighting against the imposition on them of a Dublin-based parliament. Between 24 and 25 April 1914, about 25,000 rifles and several million rounds of ammunition, provided by the German Empire, were landed in Larne, Donaghadee and Bangor. Lord Randolph Churchill was the first to use the phrase ‘Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right’ in the 1890s.

In March 1914, there was a feverish mood in the north of the island. There was clearly the will for an armed confrontation, and there would soon be the means. Asquith’s government (in a distinctly confused state) seems to have thought that the protestant parts could be subdued and controlled by military means, hence the orders, including the securement of the arsenals in Carrickfergus, Armagh and elsewhere in an effort to prevent the looting of arms. The government hadn’t reckoned with the private sympathy of many officers, who often had family links to the north.

In the event, the government thought better of what would have been, effectively, martial law in a part of the kingdom. The idea of imposing the government’s will by force was abandoned. But this ‘Incident’ was, in a way, the event that foreshadowed partition.

  • chrisjones2

    I had forgotten that this was coming up

    Can I commend ATQs Stewarts book on The Ulster Crisis on this incident ad the whole period.

    The Curragh was a classic case where poor communications and weak military leadership led a Government into an utter mess

    By the way while Lord Randolph may have supported the Ulster men his son in this crisis later sent the fleet from Lamlash to Belfast Lough to bombard the Prods if needed – until the PM found out and hurriedly recalled it before it sparked civil war

  • james

    I think one has to look at the reasons why Protestants were so massively opposed to being forced to live under Irish rule. History has, in my opinion, shown those fears to be well-founded. I’m with Kipling on this one.

  • sk

    Indeed, down here in Dublin, we’re all looking on jealously at what Northern Ireland has become. Lucky you.

    As for the topic at hand..

    Insurrection? Fine when the Prods do it. But when the fenians do it, it’s treason.

    Democracy? Fine when the Prods eschew it. But when the fenians do so, it’s terrorism.

    It’s a fascinating mindset.

  • chrisjones2

    As for 70 years we admired your state where the Archbishop of Dublin vetted all the laws and you couldn’t use a condom without the risk of a Garda Raid (as well as eternal damnation)

  • WindsorRocker

    And that is one of the reasons why the organisers of the Ulster Anti Home Rule cause initiated the covenant. It was signed by those who were eligible to vote and clearly demonstrated that popular support was not there in Ulster for a Home Rule parliament. It was as good as a mini referendum in the province of Ulster. Note that women who did not have the vote did not sign the main covenant. With this mandate behind them, the organisers of the rest of the campaign had a democratic basis for it.
    It is worth noting that only 48% of the people voted for Sinn Fein in 1918 before that gets brought in.

  • Korhomme

    No woman in 1914 had the vote. They signed a Declaration.

  • New Yorker

    The Curragh Mutiny is when the UK government handed power to terrorists. Once a government bows to the threat of terrorist activity it cedes authority and legitimacy to armed groups that may be sectarian. That is the prism with which to view the last one hundred years of Irish history.

  • Tacapall

    “On Friday 20 March 1914, around 60 Army officers offered to resign their commissions rather than obey orders”

    Unlike those poor unfortunate cannon fodder who happened not to be from well off families who were executed for exactly the same thing, including those poor souls with shell shock executed for being cowards. But whats new, this is what privilege is, this is what the British establishment and unionism represent, one law for one and another for another.

  • chrisjones2

    Errrr .,.. this was 4 months before the First World War started

    If you are going to drip bile over the page please at least get the basic dates / facts right first

  • Niall Noígíallach

    “In March 1914, there was a feverish mood in the north of the island. There was clearly the will for an armed confrontation, and there would soon be the means.”

    Lets play a wee swap game. Here goes:

    “In August 1969, there was a feverish mood in the north of the island. There was clearly the will for an armed confrontation, and there would soon be the means.”

    Let’s discuss

  • Tacapall

    “Errrr .,.. this was 4 months before the First World War started”

    Really, 4 months make a difference in your mind, well I’ve news for ya you might not like it but Crown soldiers depending on their status have been executed for generations for disobeying orders especially in times of war or martial law.

    Like I said – This is what the British establishment and unionism represent, one law for one and another for another.

  • james

    I take your point, actually. But you may be missing mine. The future for Protestants (viewed as infidels in the Catholic state for a Catholic people at the time and for decades after) and particularly their children looked bleak indeed. Discrimination, house-burning and sexual abuse would have been rife. Distasteful to say it, but lets be honest. I think we dodged a very bug bullet there and I’m grateful to that generation that we did.

  • Tacapall

    “It is worth noting that only 48% of the people voted for Sinn Fein in 1918 before that gets brought in”

    In Ulster ?

  • Korhomme

    It was officers who suffered from ‘shell shock’, what we would today call PTSD. These men were referred to hospitals in Britain. The men, the ordinary soldiers, suffering from the same problem, were ‘cowards’ and who were shot. It was a ‘class’ issue; the same is true for all establishments, not just the British or Unionism.

  • WindsorRocker

    I was pre-empting the justification for the War of Independence 1919-1921.

  • WindsorRocker

    My grammar is the issue there. It should have read “Note that women, who did not have the vote, did not sign the main covenant”. The commas are rather important, my failing for not including them.

  • barnshee

    “Let’s discuss”

    Happy to lets start with hiding behind women and children to attack policemen- then we can move on to bombing civilians and shooting policemen in the back. Then we can move on to whining when other murder gangs reply in kind

  • WindsorRocker

    Err, the Curragh Mutiny is not about “terrorists”. It is actually about a classic case of where the establishment in a country is so split over an issue that it permeates its way to the very institutions of the establishment, in this case the military. Very few issues since have engendered such a response. One could speculate that a different government reaching an armistice with Nazi Germany in the spring of 1940 may have caused a similar division.

  • sk

    ChrisJones,

    Down here, the leader of every political party in the state is about to support the imminent gay marriage bill- this includes the conservative Fine Gael party, home of our gay health minister.

    Up north Jeffrey Dudgeon doesn’t get a look-in as a unionist pact candidate because the DUPes couldn’t stomach publicy backing a homosexual.

    At what point did we overtake you, do you think?

  • barnshee

    You appear to miss the point these chaps offer to resign

    “this is what privilege is” yea all those privileged prods such elegance living in 1/2 room houses outside toilets -if any and so on such nirvana
    Look up the facts
    http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/

  • chrisjones2

    In times of war …thats the rule but go on making it up to try and justify your naked racial hatred

    PS do you relaise that phrases like “I’ve news for ya you might not like it” make you sound like an out of control 12 year old

  • barnshee

    “Indeed, down here in Dublin, we’re all looking on jealously at what Northern Ireland has become. Lucky you.”

    Indeed it must be a matter of enormous pride that you helped provide the weapons used to murder people for being protestant without due care and attention.
    You breast must swell when you consider how your police force conspired to murder visiting RUC members and how you must celebrate the judicial system that prevented the extradition of murderers.
    Such pride
    (You have a short memory I remember Dublin with its arse out of its trousers and a sea of emigration to er England It`s hard not to smile when I see the “celtic tiger” shot and the migration flow again)

  • Reader

    There wasn’t a war on, and certainly no conscription, so Army officers had the option to resign.
    They still do:
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/03/05/conservative-mp-to-senior-army-officers-resign-on-principal-over-cuts/

  • Reader

    Firstly, you have oversimplified every aspect of the history to a ridiculous extent:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_shock
    Secondly, only a miniscule fraction of psychological cases were executed, and serious efforts were made to distinguish between psychological cases and willful derelictions.

  • Korhomme

    My response to Tacapell was to see the narrative from a class view point, rather than a British and Unionist one. And by doing so, taking a ‘helicopter’ viewpoint of what happened, the fine details are inevitably distorted. The response to soldiers with ‘shell shock’ in WWI was as much a class issue as anything else; the idea that the Establishment looks after it’s own (who were the officers). Once you hone into the fine detail, the overall concepts become lost. PTSD wasn’t understood as a mental illness in WWI.

  • Guest

    Indeed, ‘de oirish repubilik’ is nothing more than a European Iran, a sick dysfunctional statelet, which only exports terrorism and religious extremism just like their jihadi brethern!

  • Tacapall

    Barnshee those non privileged Prods are as Irish as myself my brothers and sisters and I acknowledge their conditions but you know exactly who and what type of people and their perceived sense of superiority Im talking about.

  • sk

    Compare the attitude here with the outrage surrounding the treatment of those who deserted the Irish army during WW2.

    Punished for disobeying orders in the British Army? Fine.

    Punished for disobeying orders in the Irish Army? Outrageous!!

    The double standards go on and on and on

  • New Yorker

    The Ulster Volunteers were terrorists. These terrorists were supported by the Curragh Mutiny traitors. The UK government yielded to those will illegal arms in Ulster. As stated, for one hundred years Ireland has been victim of such terrorism. Had the UK government acted properly one hundred years ago and quashed the terrorist movement at the time, there would have been much less tolerance and appetite for terrorist groups since then. Trying to dress up terrorist activity as a split in the establishment is a futile attempt to make it something it was not and disguise the ugly sectarian treason it was. If you cannot see history clearly, you cannot understand the present nor plan for a future.

  • Gopher

    The crown has also executed Officers, Admirals even. Byng for instance “Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres” as Voltaire saterized. Unless Im mistaken the Republican movement has a penchant for executing (sic) its foot soldiers also. I would even wager the ratio of those serving in the Republican movement executed (sic) to those serving the crown is somewhat higher. Interestingly although the portion of those executed to those convicted was low in WWI (One would be too many) The Crown did not execute any in WWII despite being in dire straights in the last ditch at various times so has done away with the barbaric practice for over 75 years whilst the Republican movement still murder its own sometimes even hiding the body I believe, even in the 21st century.

  • Tacapall

    Reader you can dress it up anyway you like but Crown forces who mutiny against their King and Parliament, would be, depending on their status in life be either put to death or imprisoned.

  • Tacapall

    Take a chill pill Chris your head gasket is gonna blow.

  • eireanne

    24th september 1913, 4 weeks after Carson had lunched with the Kaiser, the Ulster unoinist Council announced it was now the Central Authority of the provisional government of Ulster”
    April 1914 – Fred Crawford, the Loyalist who was ready to “change his allegiance right over to the Emperor of germany” “if Ulster Loyaists were put out of the Kingdom” went to Germany for guns which were unloaded in the Larne Gunrunning
    The Curragh Mutiny was a much more serious affair than a few Army officers resigning their commissions when told they were about to be sent north to deal wih Ulster Unionists; the movement of military reinforcements into Down and Armagh was countermanded; Warships steaming into Belfast Harbour were told to change course.

    So there is clear evidence that rebellion was openly preached, men were drilled and arms were landed, the assistance of the Kaiser was invoked, the forces of the crown were defied and their commanders seduced from their allegiances. (Andrew Boyd Republicanism and Loyalty in Ireland)

    And the Unionists/Loyalists are proud of this behaviour? Think it shows off how “loyal” and “british” they are?

  • eireanne

    here’s what English Heritage think of Carson’s contribution to british politics https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/edward-carson-1854-1935/

  • John Collins

    Well members of your security forces conspired in the Monaghan/Dublin Bombings. Nothing has been proved you might say but nothing has been proved against any individual member of the GS either. And by the way we are not hiding behind ‘concerns about national security’ when refusing to assist inquiries into mass murder. Apart from that Unionists had no problem importing guns from Germany, GBs mortal enemy, when nobody else was importing them.

  • John Collins

    Well now the antics of Jimmy Saville and Cyril Smyth were covered up at the highest level in your most liberal country where there are of course no paedophiles. As regards being a dysfunctional statelet it is one of only three independent states in Europe that has not been governed by a dictatorship over the past century.

  • Tacapall

    ” I would even wager the ratio of those serving in the Republican
    movement executed (sic) to those serving the crown is somewhat higher.”

    Well why wouldn’t it, especially when British agents are controlling those who are pulling the triggers. Obviously you’ve never heard of Freddie Scapattchi.

  • John Collins

    In 23 Constituencies out of 104 there was no election as neither Unionist or Home Rule Parties contested them. These were areas where there was absolutely no chance of either of those parties putting up a respectable tally never mind win. So your 48% argument does not carry much weight.

  • Reader

    It wasn’t a mutiny. Ask a lawyer.

  • Tacapall

    Thats what the headline says and if you want to cherry pick, refusing to carry out the King and Parliaments orders is treason, offering to resign is not an option the King or parliament would accept, once again depending on your status in life.

  • Gingray

    Wow it makes you smile to see families torn apart? That’s quite hateful and bitter!

    The south has issues, but it has weathered a mighty storm without serious civil unrest.

    While up north we still send more of our best and brightest away. To Scotland England usa Canada etc., and a higher proportion of those never coming home are protestants. We don’t control our own destiny but remain on the periphery of a London centric economy. It’s our own wee shithole, and the south has gotten stronger while we stagnate.

  • Gingray

    Yes, everything was so much better in the north where religion had no sway 🙂

    I assume you missed all the uup politicians who where also religious ministers? Or big Ian demonising catholics on TV? The lack of abortion like the UK? The way the ruc worked with all the churches including catholics to cover up child abuse?

    Splitting hairs, we had nutjob protestants they had crazy catholics, we both had religion defining politics.

  • barnshee

    Unfortunately “those non privileged Prods are as Irish as myself” is not a view they shared or indeed now share

  • barnshee

    Guards investigate guard—move along nothing to see here

  • Reader

    Officers have always had the option to resign. It’s in the contract. And calling it a mutiny doesn’t make it one.

  • Reader

    Enough of the holistic nonsense – instead, once you home in on the fine detail, your overall concept is debunked.
    What areas of the linked article would you like to dispute?

  • John Collins

    Well you did not address the refusal of the GB Government to give access to documentation which may be of evidential value in investigating the Monaghan/Dublin bombings.
    Nothing to see there as you might say yourself. The very same Official Secrets Act was used to stop investigating Cyril Smyth for sex abuse as shown in a Spotlight Programme the other night

  • james

    You’ve no need to be jealous of NI. The European ice cream van will be around again soon enough with a handout. Once Greece gets itself sorted.

  • chrisjones2

    At the time landing the arms was not illegal. There were no controls and they didn’t need licences to hold them

    You also seem fixated on some sort of Germanic Race Guilt meme. Why the hell has what their ancestors did over 100 years ago got to do with people today?

  • chrisjones2

    Resigning isn’t mutiny …they had the right to do so and decided that they believed what the Government was doing was so wrong they did not wish to condone it . A principled stand

  • chrisjones2

    here you go again inventing things and relying on others’ headlines that you extrapolate to infinity and use to draw false conclusions

  • chrisjones2

    ” those non privileged Prods are as Irish as myself my brothers and sisters ”

    Thats a fundamental problem in many of your posts here . Its THEIR choice if they consider themselves Irish. You are not some Political Jehovah’s Witness who can baptise them Irish by default without their permission and long after they are dead. It portrays a terrible intellectual arrogance in your view of people, their beliefs and rights.

    Indeed the right to self determination is enshrined in ECHR now isn’t it

  • chrisjones2

    Can we have a collusion inquiry and charges in that case as well or is it just Belfast Solicitors who are a protected species?

  • chrisjones2

    No…Im cool. I have seen your example and know what to avoid. Toodle pip old chap

  • chrisjones2

    They were bought in Holland and shipped from Hamburg as I recall but are you now suggesting that guns have some nationality attached to them?

  • chrisjones2

    Depends what it is. If for example it might expose informers whose lives will be at risk then legally it might not be possible to release it

  • chrisjones2

    …not even the Catholic Church when by proxy it vetted all your laws, controlled what books you could read, what films you could see and whether you could wear a condom?

  • chrisjones2

    Absolutely on the nut job point – and still have

  • chrisjones2

    I think around the later 1980s when you suddenly realised that there was a better way …then the Church scandals with priests impregnating women and abusing children finally broke the mould. Sadly we were still too focused on murdering each other at that point and are still too focused on talking about it

    Now we are forced to rely on Europe to force our Zealots on both sides to comply with basic human rights standards. The irony is that the Catholic Church now has more influence up here than in the irish Republic!

  • John Collins

    How very convenient, Of course as the Cyril Smyth case showed this Act can be misused also.

  • John Collins

    Well I might point out that in the Supergrass trials witnesses were screened of, given none de plumesf and given new identities when the trials were over. Why could this not have been done here?

  • John Collins

    Chris
    What were the DUP leadership doing in front of Stormount last week all in a love in with Noel Traynor and Co. Paisley must be rotating in his grave. With all that has been said about the leadership of the RC Church and the antics of Big Ian in the European Parliament when the Pope addressed it. To think not a single Unionist politician raised their voice at the sheer absurdity of this coming together.

  • John Collins

    In the real Ulster there were 16 Home Rule MPs against 15 Unionist prior to the 1918 election.

  • John Collins

    Well Chris that was the point I was making above. All these religious spokesmen should be sent back to their churches and elected representatives should be allowed do what they were elected to do.

  • Tacapall

    Are people born in Scotland Scottish, Are people born in Wales Welsh or are people born in England English ?

  • Croiteir

    I see – then the Williamite wars, the Somme et al have nothing to do with loyalists/unionists today

  • Croiteir

    Or let u hide beind barrack walls using civilians as shields

  • Starviking

    Are you saying British Forces used human shields around the walls of their barracks?

  • T.E.Lawrence

    ‘But this Incident was in away the event that foreshadowed partition’ It certainly was and it was the Game Changer ! I never paid much attention to the significance of the event until an English BBC journalist raised it with me. Jeromy and me would sometimes sit outside a hotel apartment bar in the evenings and have a few beers and a chat. He had a strong passion for historical irish politics maybe because his great grandparents came from a wealthy unionist family from the Antrim Road in Belfast. I suppose being from Belfast and a Loyalist I knew a bit about Jeromy’s passion. I remember him getting very emotional one evening about the issue and calling Sir Henry Wilson and Gough two treacherous Bs who caused the partition of Ireland. Jeromy was an englishman who was a strong supporter of a United Ireland. The bottom line is that no Government can enforce policy without it’s Army and this is exactly what happened regarding the Curragh Mutiny.

  • Tacapall

    Just officers. Does that not validate my point ?

  • New Yorker

    If it was not illegal, why did they bother to smuggle them in?

    It is important because soon after the Ulster Volunteers brought in arms for the purpose of rebellion the republicans did the same. Since the government did not quash it and nip it in the bud in both cases, the Republic and NI came about. In addition it helped legitimize organized crime – want to shake down shop owners, declare you are saving the union – want to launder diesel, say you are really helping the republican cause. That goes on to this very day and it all started a hundred years ago when the government did not face down the Curragh traitors nor staunch unionist and republican gunrunners.

  • barnshee

    “The south has issues, but it has weathered a mighty storm without serious civil unrest.”

    Since it spent the early years reducing the protestant pop to virtually zero it effectively removed the prospect of “civil unrest”

  • barnshee

    Are children of the Chinese restaurant in Derry Irish?

  • eireanne

    “Why the hell has what their ancestors did over 100 years ago got to do with people today?”

    I have no idea Chris – you should address the question to the more than 10,000 people who took part in a parade to mark the centenary of the formation of the UVF.
    These are people who keep on celebrating these events and who presumably feel that what their ancestors did over 100 years ago has got something to do with people today . Otherwise why celebrate “the Provisional government of ulster”?

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/massive-ulster-volunteer-force-reenactment-marks-centenary-in-west-belfast-29619972.html

    Those are the individuals who can’t/won’t let go of the past.Ask them

  • eireanne

    “the organisers of the Ulster Anti Home Rule cause initiated the covenant”

    Just to gain a little perspective on the Covenant – from the English heritage point of view – and an insight into just how beneficial it was for people – have a look at this essay on Carson https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/edward-carson-1854-1935/ .

  • Gingray

    Jeepers barnshee, you keep coming across as quite a hateful person here.

    The drop in the south can be ascribed to multiple factors – birth rate (in the north protestants have dropped from 70% to 48%), colonial attitude (the white population in other British colonies such as India Kenya etc declined massively once they won independence from Britain), jobs and study (as in northern Ireland, protestants in the south are more like to be able to afford study and work in gb and are less likely to come back to Ireland), the military (young protestant males where more like to join the British army and never come home either through posting or death in one of the UKs many wars) and of course discrimination as you have highlighted.

    Still the south is now largely secular and much richer than us, I’d take our chances with them over our lot

  • Gingray

    Blooming creationists in charge of museums … Laughing stock that made us

  • Tacapall

    If they were born in Ireland to Irish parents Im sure they would be, why does being a citizen from a former British colony like Hong Kong make you British not Chinese?

  • barnshee

    All those Irish people running Chinese restaurants?
    Born in the UK =UK citizens -Race Chinese
    Born in the UK (Ni) = UK citizen Race??

  • barnshee

    Don`t ask embarrassing questions

  • Starviking

    Or would you be embarassed to answer?

  • barnshee

    never saw it myself but I presume Croiteir has eye witness account

  • Starviking

    Well, we’ll have to wait for his response.

  • Steve Larson

    It was just another example of how the rule of law was not applied equally in Ireland.

    Gombeen fools like John Redmond thought that on top of filling their pockets they would be treated equal before the law.

    When every day they saw that that would not be the case.

  • barnshee

    “if Ulster Loyaists were put out of the Kingdom

    As i never tire of explaining –if Ulster Loyalists are put out of the “Kingdom” they are thus not part of the kingdom– they cannot thus “rebel” against a country they are no longer part of.

    Take arms against it certainly should it invade –rebel no

    loyal to a unit they are no longer part of—no

  • barnshee

    “The drop in the south can be ascribed to multiple factors – birth rate (in the north protestants have dropped from 70% to 48%),”

    Cack

    The birth rate of the northern prod has been consistent at around 2.2 The change in religious balance is entirely due to the rate in the catholic community (6.6 but declining to nearer parity)

  • Practically_Family

    It’s not just officers though. As long as your obligations are fulfilled you can pack it in. (Assuming we’re not at war or otherewise in emergency).

    The obligations differ between Officers and Other Ranks. So do the requirements & responsibilities of service.

  • Gingray

    Are you really trying to say that even though catholics in the north have a higher birth rate and thus increased proportionately, the same factor would not come into play in the south, home of the highest birth rate in the eu?

    Seriously? Catholics and contraception dude, all over Ireland, popping them out like rabbits!

    I know it doesn’t fit your world view, but Catholic birth rate is a factor north and south in the decline of protestants as a proportion of the population on Ireland.

  • barnshee

    Could not agree more– the inability of catholics to keep zips up, and knickers on is a major factor north of the border. Particularly as its largely at the taxpayers expense

    For the ROI the big “tell “is the rapid prod “decline” 1900-1930 during the murder /boycott/property theft era

    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/protestants_1861_1991.html

    The collapse is not just proportionate but actual –that is not only did the proportion fall ACTUAL numbers fell

  • barnshee

    I suspect the refusal is to protect “grasses”
    Would love to see it ALL hang out

  • Niall Noígíallach

    “the inability of catholics to keep zips up, and knickers on is a major factor north of the border. Particularly as its largely at the taxpayers expense”

    Stay classy barnshee. You dont come across as being sectarian at all

  • barnshee

    Facts don`t you just hate em

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1632712

    If you are claiming virgin births are the problem we should be told

  • Niall Noígíallach

    Your assumption here is that Catholics in the north are unable to have children at all without dependency on the British state. That is not what your link states chief. in addition to that, the phrase “the inability of Catholics to keep zips up, and knickers on” suggests that Catholics do not have children or start families for the conventional reasons but rathar it’s more to do with some sort of sexual condition that costs the state money.

    Classy. The Union is safe with you mate. Keep her lit

  • barnshee

    With estimates of state funded economic activity at some 70% of GDP it would appear that whatever “conventional reasons ” are advanced for birth rates the state appears to be funding them.

    PS “start families” normally one is a start the “finish” that is being examined here